In order to enhance the COVID-19 testing facilities in India, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Thursday invited applications from all government and private medical colleges for establishing a COVID-19 testing facility.
In its notice, the ICMR said that all medical colleges having a BSL-2 level laboratory facility including a molecular biology setup for virological diagnosis and a functioning and calibrated bio-safety cabinet type 2A/2B in the laboratory can apply.
Moreover, medical colleges having cold centrifuge/microfuge for RNA extraction, a functioning and calibrated real-time PCR machine are also eligible to apply.
The medical colleges should also have one or more medical microbiologists, four or six technicians and one or more multi-task staff in order to be able to apply.
The staff should have good understanding of laboratory bio-safety and bio-security, trained for handling respiratory samples for viral diagnosis, RNA extraction and real-time PCR, besides having experience of working in virology and handling clinical specimens, especially respiratory samples, the ICMR said.
Additionally, for all applicants from private medical colleges, it is essential to submit a copy of the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) accreditation certificate and scope of accreditation for real-time PCR for RNA viruses, the ICMR said.
ICMR has conducted a total of 1,27,919 tests for COVID-19 in the country so far.